100 SHRM Chapter Seminar Program Ideas

It’s a new year, and many of you SHRM chapters and state councils out there will be looking for content to engage your members this year. I’m yet again volunteering on the board of NASHRM, my local chapter, so this is near and dear to my heart. I’ll be hosting a SHRM Chapter Volunteer Leader Series occasionally as a way to give content ideas (as I am today), offer advice on board leadership, and more. I’m working to republish the free Rock Your Chapter eBook, and these are updates I expect to include in the new version. And now, with no further delay, the content…

Note: I'm hooked on The 100. Great sci fi show, if you're that kind of geek.

Note: I’m hooked on The 100. Great sci fi show, if you’re that kind of geek.

A consistent challenge I have observed for the last six years of working as a volunteer board member is finding good content for our members. The Programs team works hard, but they, like virtually all SHRM volunteers, have full time jobs, families, and other responsibilities. So I wanted to pull together 100 programming ideas to consider in the coming year. One of the great things about SHRM chapters is that you don’t always have to bring in world class speakers (but you can if you have the budget, of course). You can pull in a local subject matter expert to share about things they know and are passionate about, and your members will benefit. Keep that thought in mind as you read through these. If any of them strike you, try to think of people you know that could share on the topic. And these are just starter ideas–take them where you wish!

Also, if you’re a SHRM chapter/council volunteer and have requests for the series (or speaking opportunities), email me.



100 SHRM Chapter Seminar Ideas

  1. No, really, please use the 401k: how to drive engagement in retirement plans
  2. Get outta here: how to prepare your employees to retire
  3. Nuke the paper: how to reduce clutter in your HR processes
  4. You want what?!? The role of influence in HR
  5. Small but mighty: how to run a great (small) HR department
  6. Yours is bigger, but mine is better: how to succeed with a small team
  7. Best practices for establishing efficient, yet lawful, HR processes
  8. Just Hand Over the Handbook and Nobody Gets Hurt: moving from static to active HR
  9. 10 Things I Hate About Your Career Site
  10. 6 tips to “wow” employees with HR communications
  11. How to make succession management a success
  12. Face the Fear: How to Demonstrate Positive HR Practices
  13. 20 small ways to revolutionize your leadership
  14. First, Admit You Have a Problem: How to move to proactive HR
  15. Bite me: how to handle aggressive employee behaviors
  16. Open Up: what level of transparency makes sense for your business?
  17. Way to go, Sherlock–How to investigate the workplace
  18. Branding: What it is and Why you need it
  19. Great HR is Invisible (hat tip to Frank Roche)
  20. Oh no you didn’t–how to mediate employee conflict
  21. Did you see what she’s wearing? How to create a common sense dress guideline
  22. Yours, Mine, Ours: how to integrate after a merger or acquisition
  23. Hello, Sweetheart: how to deal with workplace romance
  24. Why does everyone look like me? How to develop a diverse workforce
  25. 3 key ways to recruit minority candidates
  26. Top 5 laws that apply to recruiting and selection
  27. Avoid the Noid: how to keep bad candidates from getting in the door
  28. Hands off: supervisor training essentials
  29. 4 benefit trends to capitalize on
  30. Oops: 7 ways to ruin your high potentials
  31. In Case of Emergency: how to create crisis plans
  32. The Walking Dead: how to identify and remove disengaged staff
  33. Radio for backup: How to build a team you can depend on
  34. The Lowdown on Leadership Development
  35. 10 things marketing can teach us about smarter HR practices
  36. Say it like you mean it: how to deliver great presentations
  37. A vs B: how to compare and contrast vendor options
  38. How to keep people awake in training (without using coffee)
  39. Email: Corporate Comms or Strategic Engagement Driver?
  40. Whoops! How to handle workplace safety issues
  41. Yo Mama! How to recruit a candidate’s family
  42. Congratulations! Key ways to keep new parents engaged
  43. Sigh. How to make your meetings engaging and powerful
  44. 13 insights you can get from HR metrics
  45. The Next Generation: Moving from metrics to analytics
  46. He Said What? Why you need to train your supervisors
  47. 8 ways to identify high potential employees
  48. 3 methods for cutting HR costs
  49. 12 points to consider in your change management planning
  50. All together now! Developing strong collaboration practices
  51. How to disengage your employees in 5 stupid ways
  52. Flexibility: What it looks like and how it boosts your business
  53. Agility: how an engineering term can help HR
  54. Close the gap: Knitting together employees and leadership
  55. Don’t motivate, inspire (hat tip to Chris Ferdinandi)
  56. Creating a passionate, productive workforce
  57. Show me the money: calculating the value of your talent practices
  58. Back to the Future: HR practices in 2020
  59. What would HR have looked like 300 years ago?
  60. 15 critical HR skills for today’s practitioners
  61. Go Pro: how to become an HR pro in 3 easy steps
  62. 4 (not so easy) ways to make candidates love your brand
  63. You Break It, You Buy It: how to handle careless employees
  64. Ah, ah, achoo! Creating Sick Leave Policies that Work
  65. 4 Employee Perks that Won’t Cost a Dime
  66. Why Voluntary Benefits are the Best Benefits
  67. Get Well Soon! How to drive wellness initiatives
  68. HR as a Conductor of the Organizational Orchestra
  69. School’s Out for Summer! PTO, Vacation, and Employee Leave Best Practices
  70. 3 Reasons You Should Quit Relying on Talent Technology
  71. Once Upon a Time: How storytelling makes your communications better
  72. There’s a Monster In My Closet: dealing with irrational leadership
  73. 4 Things Your Assessment Provider Won’t Tell You
  74. 3 Questions to Ask Your Talent Acquisition Vendor
  75. 6 Ways to Know if An Employee is Lying
  76. Personnel to Human Resources: How to be a strategic business asset
  77. How to manage the email monster and get more done
  78. 3 easy ways to turn managers into leaders
  79. Bert and Ernie: How to leverage friendships for engagement
  80. Cookie Monster: How to drive healthy employee behaviors
  81. Oscar the Grouch: How to manage negative employees
  82. Big Bird: How to demonstrate executive presence
  83. How to reward innovation without breaking the bank
  84. 7 tips for empowering employees
  85. Culture Shock: Preparing expatriates for new assignments
  86. Anylearning: How to encourage employees by offering non-work related training
  87. Intermittent what? How to manage employees on FMLA leave
  88. A Pile of Shift (Workers): Managing a 24-hour workforce
  89. Make my day: How to negotiate like a pro
  90. 5 things HR can learn from finance
  91. How to create a strategic partnership with your CFO
  92. 6 things HR does that drives employees crazy
  93. Anything you can do I can do better: Ensuring gender equality in the workplace
  94. 8 ideas for revolutionizing your HR service, starting today
  95. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: How to prepare employees for greatness
  96. Say Hello to My Little Friend: Weapons at work, how to handle it, and what’s legal
  97. I’ll Be Back: How to deal with boomerang employees
  98. Life is like a box of chocolates: Predicting employee performance before they’re hired
  99. Frankly My Dear, I… Want to know how to handle profanity at work
  100. ET Phone Home: How to communicate based on employee preferences

I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of these. Which ones would you like to hear? Which ones would bore you to tears? :-) Anything you’d add to the list?



Young Professional Events for SHRM Chapters

Someone recently reached out to me about young professional events for SHRM chapters. A few years back I was tagged to be the Chair for the SHRM HR Young Professional Advisory Council, and I had a great time working with the rest of the YP team trying to find out ways to help chapters engage their young professional members.

By the way, if you are looking for ideas to improve your chapter (whether it’s SHRM, ASTD, etc.), here’s a great resource I pulled together a while back: Rock Your Chapter.

Here are six ideas I’ve picked up that chapter leaders can use to improve their offerings for young professionals.

Ideas for young professional events

  1. First, know what your goal is with these young professional events. Do you want to increase membership for the young professionals? Do you want to increase engagement for existing YPs? Do you want something else? Be clear on that before you start.
  2. Look for non-confrontational events/spaces to start with. Remember, these guys, for the most part, are not veterans with 10 years of experience. They’re brand new HR professionals, and the more laid-back you can make it, the better. Maybe that’s my introverted side speaking up, but it can’t hurt to be very flexible and informal, at least to get started.
  3. Target the members of your local chapter with young professionals working for them. A large number of companies have young professionals in their ranks. You should encourage their managers and leaders to allow the YPs to visit your young professional events in order to make them a more valuable employees.
  4. Offer programming for young professionals. In the research I have conducted over the past few years, it turns out that this group of HR pros wants pretty much the same types of content as someone who has been in the field for 10 years. They just need the basic foundation in each area first to feel competent enough to starting building a career on that knowledge.
  5. Using social media isn’t a necessity, but it won’t hurt, either. I’d recommend a LinkedIn group or a Facebook group. Make it private where members can ask questions in a “safe” zone without fear of looking silly or risking any credibility. If you can get some interaction on these platforms, it can go a long way toward building a sense of community for all participants.
  6. Take a look at the young professional guide. It’s free, and it shows how you can focus on the three key areas that young HR professionals want to know about (based on some research I conducted several years ago). In case you are wondering, those three areas include:
    1. How to establish credibility
    2. How to find meaningful work
    3. How to make a career path

If your chapter does anything in the way of young professional events, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to drop a comment below.

Thanks to Michael for prompting me to write this. It took me a little time, but I hope it was worthwhile!

HR and Talent Management Book Club

How to start an HR/Talent management book club

I’ve talked with our local SHRM chapter in the past about possibly setting up a HR/talent management book club since it seems like it would be fairly easy to initiate and manage. Then a few weeks ago our 2013 president reached out to me again about the possibility of starting this group for real.

I’ll share the info I have and the meeting outlines for anyone who might be interested in starting their own HR book club.

For those of you who were wondering, this is different from the Company Book Club alternative that I discussed a while back. That’s a different concept and while I touch on book clubs there, this post is exclusively focused on the concept. 

HR management book clubHR management book club basics

We’ll look at books on how to manage people. We’ll look at books on managing change. We’ll look at books that laugh at the dumb things employees do that we have to deal with on a daily basis (yes, really!).

The group meets once a month at 8:00am on the third Wednesday morning at a local coffee shop for one hour.

I’m still trying to determine the number of books. One per quarter seems too low; one per month seems a bit much for some people.

Anyone is welcome to come; however, there will be a limit of ten or fifteen participants per meeting to meet space limits and encourage participation/discussion by the group members.

HR management book club agenda

Here’s the agenda I plan to work from:

  • 8:00-8:10 welcome/socializing
  • 8:10-8:50 book discussion (I can develop questions to bring or let the conversation roam; I’ll be prepared for either avenue)
  • 8:50-9:00 prep for next meeting, closing thoughts/feedback, etc.

HR management book club selections

My first rule is this–all of the books should not be HR-related. Some should be, because we can all stand to be stronger in our area of expertise. However, we also need to expand beyond the HR arena into other areas of the business.

I’m a fan of mixing prescribed and self-selected books to ensure the experience is more targeted to group interests while still expanding beyond “comfortable” book choices. 

So how do you let the group pick self-selected books? Using the principles I outline for developing a 5 minute survey with free tools, you could set up a quick voting system to allow anyone in the group to vote for their own favorite options. Just pull a handful of titles from this page and let people vote on what sounds interesting.

Generating interest in your HR management book club

It’s easy to find book lovers. It’s much harder to get people who are on the fence or are crazy busy (who isn’t these days?) to commit. Here are a few tips for creating a book club that engages better than the traditional events:

  • Encourage fluid commitment-people can attend on/off and only when they find the particular book interesting.
  • Offer discussions via a LinkedIn group to allow for greater interaction between meetings.
  • Have ways for people to interact even if they can’t attend meetings (LinkedIn, alternative meetups, etc.).
  • Collect minutes/main ideas and distribute to all interested parties to spread the ideas further than the group and generate further interest (like the HR Roundtable Discussions).

And if all else fails, drop this classic line from selling expert Brian Tracy on the undecided:

To gain a competitive advantage in your career, read at least one hour per day in your chosen field. One hour a day will translate into approximately one book a week. One book a week will translate into approximately fifty books over the next twelve months. If you read an hour a day, one book per week, you will be an expert in your field within three years. Through continuous learning, you will be a national authority in five years, and you will be an international authority in seven years. All leaders are readers. Source

Love to hear some thoughts/feedback. Anyone have a book club they’ve participated in previously? What did/didn’t work?

SHRM Chapters-Life as a Board Member

SHRM Chapters are local SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) affiliates that live out SHRM’s mission on a local scale. I’ve been serving on the board of NASHRM, my local chapter, since the middle of 2009, and at the end of this year I am stepping down from my position on the board to focus on some other priorities in my life (family, work, etc.).

For those looking to have an impact on their profession on a local level, SHRM chapters provide a great way to jump in, get some volunteer credits, and develop a strong local network for career and professional development opportunities. (If you’re already volunteering with a SHRM chapter, be sure to check out the free SHRM Chapter Leadership guide.)

What to expect Continue reading

Attracting, retaining, and engaging members of your SHRM chapter

In November I released the free Rock Your Chapter guide to the public. The intent was to create something to help local chapters and state councils to attract, retain, and engage their members. Since then, the guide has been downloaded over 200 times! I just want to thank everyone for their support and ask that you continue to share this tool. Many chapters have a change in leadership with the new calendar year, and this would be a great way to get a jump start on new ideas for 2011.

Rave reviews

I’ve also had a lot of great reviews/testimonials from the volunteer leader community. It’s amazing to get the support from everyone that I have received. A quick sample:

Ben hits the nail on the head. “Rock Your Chapter” rocks!!
Posted by Lori Goldsmith, SPHR, GPHR

Thanks for putting your ideas on paper and working to make us all better.
(Cincinnati HR) Posted by Julie Johnson

This is great stuff! I will share with the Guam and Saipan chapters and let you know the results. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.
Posted by Katherine Gillespie Dote

Nicely done. Finally had a chance to download and read. Will happily pass along to others as well!
Posted by Bradley Galin, SPHR

Great book Ben. I printed it, read it and have sent links to my Chapter Board Members. I also posted a link on both the Georgia SHRM State Council LinkedIn Group and the Georgia SHRMState Council Membership LinkedIn Group!
Posted by Kevin Smith, SPHR

Can you help?

I love giving these things away for free. The best part for me is knowing that it’s helping a person somewhere that I don’t even know, simply because someone like you shared it with them. Here are a few ways you can help me (and other chapters in your area):

  • Send an email to your local and/or state board with the link to this page
  • Share the link on twitter
  • Post it on your local chapter or state council Facebook page or LinkedIn group
  • Tell other volunteers you know about how much you enjoyed it (assuming you did!)
  • Tell me about how it helped you so I can make the next one better

Thanks for the support, everyone! Click here if you want to download the guide or see the reviews.

Rock Your Chapter Free eBook

So… I finally finished the Rock Your Chapter eBook! It’s been a long time coming, but I hope it’s really useful to the volunteer chapter leaders out there. Know someone who’s in a leadership position with a local chapter or state council? Share this guide with them. I’d appreciate it and so will they. :-) I’m passionate about helping our volunteer leadership with leading and growing their chapters, and this guide is just a small piece of what I’d like to do overall. Thank you to everyone for your support!

click to downloadClick here to download.

Want to help?

I love giving these things away for free. The best part for me is knowing that it’s helping a person somewhere that I don’t even know, simply because someone like you shared it with them. Here are a few ways you can help me (and other chapters in your area):

  • Send an email to your local and/or state board with the link to this page
  • Share the link on twitter
  • Post it on your local chapter or state council Facebook page or LinkedIn group
  • Tell other volunteers you know about how much you enjoyed it (assuming you did!)
  • Tell me about how it helped you so I can make the next one better

Testimonials for Rock Your Chapter

Ben hits the nail on the head. “Rock Your Chapter” rocks!!
Posted by Lori Goldsmith, SPHR, GPHR
Thanks for putting your ideas on paper and working to make us all better.
(Cincinnati HR)
Posted by Julie Johnson
Hey Ben – nice work!
Posted by Michael VanDervort
This is great stuff! I will share with the Guam and Saipan chapters and let you know the results. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.
Posted by Katherine Gillespie Dote
Ben,
Nicely done. Finally had a chance to download and read. Will happily pass along to others as well!
Thanks!
Posted by Bradley Galin, SPHR
Great book Ben. I printed it, read it and have sent links to my Chapter Board Members. I also posted a link on both the Georgia SHRM State Council LinkedIn Group and the Georgia SHRMState Council Membership LinkedIn Group!
Posted by Kevin Smith, SPHR
Ben: Thank you. I am sharing with our Board (Charleston West Virginia) and State Council Director.
Posted by James Wells, SPHR, IPMA-CP
Great guide! I’ll be sharing with my board colleagues in the Volusia/Flagler Chapter (Daytona Beach, FL)
Posted by Cheryl Perreault

Your document “Rock Your Chapter” is excellent. Thank you. As the Charleston West Virginia Chapter 2011 – 2013 President I have shared with our Board, and as a West Virginia State Council District Director I have encouraged the State Council Director to share with each Chapter in our State. Thank you.
Jim

Congratulations on your production of a useful tool for chapters.  Many of your ideas will fit any non-profit organization. Thank you for your efforts.
Mike

Good stuff. I\’ll be sharing with my local ASTD chapter during our board retreat in December.
Traci Cuthbertson

SHRM Volunteer Leaders-New LinkedIn Group

SHRM Leadership Back when I surveyed SHRM volunteer leaders about what really frustrated them, one of the most common responses was a lack of interaction among leadership. Another big issue was a sense of being the only one out there. So from that point on I resolved to help remedy that.

The long story

Interesting story… I usually take it easy on Friday nights and coast through the weekend, then pick up steam on Sunday night to get back into the week at full speed. Well, I had about half an hour of free time last Friday night. Melanie had the girls, and I felt like I needed to get something done before they got home.

Of course I had to write a post about the new social media mentoring project I’m working on, and I also went through cleaning up my email. One in particular struck me.

I had talked to a few people a while back about creating a resource to help SHRM chapter and state council leaders connect and collaborate with each other. Then the email conversation stalled out. Everyone was positive about the idea, and they all agreed it needed to happen, but that’s where it ended.

Let’s make it happen

So, if you know anything at all about me, I’m a doer. I need some action, baby. :-) So I created a LinkedIn group called SHRM Chapter and State Council Leadership.

Fair warning: It’s not for everyone. I don’t want everyone joining.

No, I’m not being a snob, it’s just that I want the conversation to be highly targeted to topics that would be beneficial for chapter and state council leaders. They need this kind of thing.

Leader? Don’t look at me!

I’m way new to this SHRM stuff. I’m not even in a leadership role in my own chapter really (unless webmaster/social media coordinator counts!). But I know that there are amazing people out there who have the knowledge and abilities to help fill this group with helpful ideas and other information. My goal is for this thing to be the resource that SHRM volunteer leaders turn to in order to network and learn how to do their job the very best they can. Just a few ideas for conversations I’d like to see crop up:

  • How can we attract and retain members in our local chapter?
  • What are some of the big steps in planning a statewide conference?
  • Is there a good way to develop a chapter succession plan?
  • How can we jump into social media as a chapter?
  • Who can share some tips for finding compelling speakers?

Heck, those are just off the top of my head. And like I said, those people who are already in there know more about this stuff than I could cram into my noggin in a year. It’s a brain trust, and it’s going to change how SHRM volunteer leaders do what they do. If you are in a leadership role or you know someone who is, please send them the link to the group (or to this post for more info). I’d really appreciate it!